Coping with PTSD and the Larry Nassar Case

I frequently check the news. I like to stay up to date on national and international news. Lately, sexual assault has been a common news topic. The #metoo movement and now #timesup have brought attention to this once taboo subject and new stories of abuse seem to arrive each day. This is good, but it can be difficult for those of us who are survivors. Sometimes, a story may be a little too much like our own story. Finding people who understand can be healing, but reading about similar abuse can also be triggering and difficult.

I decided to listen to the Larry Nassar accuser, Rachael DenHollander. She gave a very passionate and detailed speech. I could only listen to the first five minutes before I was overwhelmed with a sickening feeling in my gut. I am proud of DenHollander for her bravery, but it was impossible for me to hear her entire speech. She did the right thing in bringing Nassar to justice, and I am thankful that he had to listen to her and all of his victims share their pain (and their strength). But, as a victim myself, I just couldn’t handle it.

It is important for survivors to be in touch with how they are feeling when these news stories abound. I want to be knowledgeable of current events, and I want to support the brave women who are speaking out; but I also need to keep my own mental health in mind. I feel anxious and upset. I wish that I had not attempted to watch the video. Sometimes, I can go from feeling just fine to very anxious when triggered. PTSD is unpredictable at times.

I am glad that Larry Nassar is going behind bars, where he belongs, for the rest of his life. But I know that recovery is not over for many of his victims, and it is not over for me.

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6 Awesome Things About Homeschooling

So, it is January 2018, and with the start of a new year comes renewed focus on our homeschooling goals. Although grade levels are basically irrelevant to us, I am currently schooling a 1st grader, kindergartner, and preschooler. Here are some of the awesome things that homeschooling has given to us this week.

1.) Bowling with friends counts as school-

We had some Hump Day fun with other homeschooling families at the local bowling ally. It was the first time my daughters played an entire game without loosing interest. If they went to public school/private school, we would not have been together in the early afternoon. I loved watching their excitement at hitting the pins, and it was nice to take a little break together. (The moms also had time together!)

2.) This is the age for art-

One of my beliefs about early childhood education is that art is just as important as any traditional subject. Children learn so much when given materials to create and explore with color. Imagination is important in our home! I think it’s awesome that I get to watch them create their masterpieces, rather than have them handed to me at the end of the school day.

3.) Dance like nobody is watching-

Similar to my conviction that art is extremely important for learning, I love taking my younger two daughters to dance class. It gives me time to hang out with my 1st grader and baby, while the middle two learn some new moves!

4.) Learning at their own pace-

My almost-7 yr old and my 5yr old girls are on the same reading level, but it really does not matter. At home, neither is behind or ahead, they are simply where they need to be. We can go further in some subjects, and take longer in others, according to their individual needs. Nobody gets left behind in homeschool, and nobody gets bored either!

5.) Sibling love-

I think it is really awesome that my children get to spend so much time together. They have a deep love for one another. Yes, they do fight sometimes! But, they are also best friends. One of my greatest desires as a mother is to see them maintain close friendships as they get older. I believe homeschooling helps foster that!

6. Freedom!

As a homeschooling family, we have a lot of freedom when it comes to how we learn, when we “do school”, and what tools to use to get there. I love being able to shape what our weeks, months, and years look like without being tied to a schedule that I did not create. I relish the educational and time freedom that homeschooling gives our family.